The V-berth is coming along pretty well. I’ve got almost all of the mahogany panels cut and fitted, the closet is done, and so is the bed foundation. I’ve also got all of the panels for the “desk-like structure” cut and fitted, so next I need to make a complex molding for the corner where several panels join together in all three axes and at different angles. I don’t do this for a living, and it’s been hot as can be this summer (and worse in the tent), so it was very challenging making this piece.
The “desk-like structure”
As time goes on, this “desk-like structure” is looking more and more like an air conditioner cabinet. I need to make a molding that joins the two vertically oriented panels with the horizontal one.
The basic molding shape
I find it’s much better on working drawings to use the angles that correspond to the saw gauge than to use the actual geometric angles. On all of my saws, 90° is 0°, so the 20° noted in the drawing would be 70° in conventional geometry.
Truing up a mahogany stick
Cutting a square groove
Two passes through the saw
Five passes and done
Nice fit for 13mm mahogany plywood
Next, I need to route a slot at an angle…never done that before
Turns out my little Bosch router has a tilt attachment
Looks like this will work
One full pass…looking good
Full depth pass…that looks good, too!
After one more pass at full depth, the second slot was done
That’s looking as I imagined
Next, I marked the molding for the next slot that the horizontal panel will fit into.
Just like that…
Next, I removed some material with my band saw
That ought to do it
I’m using the bandsaw because this cut won’t go all the way to the far end of the molding, and the cut needs to be straight through the material. The molding needs to be full-size at the bottom, from the horizontal panel to the floor. But there’s no need to have the extra material up higher.
Rough cuts done
3/4″ and 3/8″ round router bits will smooth off the corners
Mini drum sander on a rotary tool helps clean up the rounded corners
Sanded with 120 grit…looking OK!
See the sweat stain thumb print in the middle of the molding? Yeah…it’s that hot in the tent. It feels cool when I go outside on 90°F days.
While making the molding, I noticed that as I finished each step I got more and more nervous about making subsequent cuts. Mahogany isn’t cheap, but if I screw up on the first couple cuts I can just cuss myself out and pull another stick from the stack. After getting the basic shape done, it’s not just a stick any more! Having spent the better part of six hours working on it, I was being very, very careful on the last operation drum sanding with my Harbor Freight rotary tool. That thing removes material fast! But in the end, I think it turned out pretty good!
Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Marine Air Conditioners